son hates brushing his teeth

Paula - posted on 04/29/2010 ( 48 moms have responded )

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My son is 14 months and he absolutely hates brushing his teeth. It is a fight every night. Any suggestions on methods to get him more into it?

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Dawn - posted on 05/04/2010

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I sing a song with my little guy.

(To the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Gently 'round your mouth
Round and round and up and down
Then you spit it out.

(alternately, to the tune of Shake your Booty)
Brush brush brush
Brush brush brush
Brush your tee-eeth (woo)
Brush your tee-eeth

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Laura - posted on 07/08/2010

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Thanks for all the good ideas! I am tired of fighting with my 17 months old boy but I just tried the tummy tickles trick while brushing a couple of teeth (though he only has 8) and he didn't know what to do, cry or laugh but it was great. Thank you also for the songs, they are great!

Carly - posted on 07/07/2010

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i would highly recommend letting him brush his own teeth.. once he gets used to it he might be more open to you helping him.

Stephanie - posted on 05/14/2010

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Try giving him his own toothbrush to hold while you brush his teeth- I do this at bath time (I have a 15 mo old daughter and a 2 yr 9mo old son). They have some really neat kids brushes, we use Yo Gabba Gabba tooth brushes that play music while you brush your teeth. There's also ones that play "Jungle Book" music, etc.

J - posted on 05/13/2010

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Like all things, my daughter loved the novelty of it first (which wears off), and then loved the independence of it (so she doesn't want my help anymore :-). But we've tried to make it part of her ritual when she gets up in the morning, and after last milk but just before bedtime. I will sing her a little song (I'm embarrassed to admit I'm doing all of these things but here I am!), "now it's time to brush our teeth, brush our teeth, now it's time to brush our teeth, first thing in the morning/before we go to bed" (choose your melody :-). Then I brush my teeth while she brushes hers, taking advantage of her current fascination with imitating us. After she brushes, a sip of water. I think that's good enough at this age - the important thing per her doc is to wash the milk out of her mouth/teeth before a long night's sleep. Good luck!

Riann - posted on 05/13/2010

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i would love to get help tt. my 15th month old will play with the tooth brush when someone is brushing but trying to brush his is just mind blowing

Mellissa - posted on 05/13/2010

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I forgot to mention when you are brushing his teeth singing always helps :)

Mellissa - posted on 05/13/2010

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After working in a paediatric dental practice it is totally normal that children don't like to have their teeth brushed! The only information that I can suggest is to sit on a chair have your son facing you on your lap with his legs around you then have your partner on a chair facing you so your knees are touching his, then lay your son back making a "bridge" (meaning your sons head is on your partners legs) and then your partner will brush his teeth whilst you are holding his hands to prevent him pulling the tooth brush away! It sounds all so mean but thats what they do at a paediatric dentist and when you start taking him, he will find it a breeze. Obviously if you want to brush his teeth then you'll need to swap roles! Praise him when you finish they love praise as you would already know. Good luck!

Shannon - posted on 05/13/2010

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I sing Raffi's song "Brush your teeth". My daughter loves it and when we get to the part that says brush your teeth she opens her mouth.

Stephanie - posted on 05/13/2010

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We have a song that we sing when it's time to go and brush her teeth. She'll walk/run to her bathroom when she hears us singing it. We made her part of her nighttime routine. At first, she'd let me brush her teeth but now she prefers to do it herself. My Mom works in a dentist office and always said to brush your teeth for as long as your favorite song so we sing ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to her as she walks around "brushing" her teeth with a bit of beginner toothpaste.

She loves to brush her teeth and as she gets older we'll introduce some proper brushing techniques. But right now, it's fun - and she is getting them clean so we'll start with that.

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Another suggestion - My son and I sing while doing his teeth (I sing and he grunts along). I just made up a quick song (we have songs for everything as my son loves music) to the tune of jingle bells "brush brush brush brush brush brush, brush your teeth today, brush brush brush brush brush brush, brush the plaque away". There are verses but they change on whim...

Win - posted on 05/12/2010

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My son is around the same age & I bought him an electric toothbrush never a problem to get him to brush his teeth no more plus I put the wiggles brush your teeth dvd on works a bonus...

Peta - posted on 05/12/2010

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Don't fight with them. If you can imagine having this "thing with bristles" shoved in your mouth you too would freak. Just let them play with and chew the brush at other times of the day to get them used to the idea. I have one in the bath and shower, cause lets face it, what child does not love to put EVERYTHING in their mouths. When the time comes to brush teeth, brush your teeth with them and if you have an older child get them in on the act as well. If all else fails try giving them a piece of cheese before bed time as this neutralizes any acid in the mouth and helps to prevent decay. It is far better than nothing and better than milk or any fruit. And when the time comes to introduce toothpaste, please include fluoride as those baby teeth have a really important job to do as "seat warmers" for adult teeth - the fluoride also helps with the development of adult teeth. There has been a lot of debate as to the harms of fluoride, but until there is some hard facts against it, I would include fluoride toothpaste (kids stuff and follow instructions) always (sorry Bridjett). I say all of this as I am a dental therapist :-) Good luck with it all and you will see a change if you are persistent and constant (eventually!!)

Natacha - posted on 05/11/2010

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i brush mine with my son he finds it so funny if i make it a game and make funny faces with him, once he has tryed it and in good mood i go over them for him which he doesnt mind too much as he allready had bit of fun .. make it fun :)

Cassandra - posted on 05/11/2010

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have u tried brushing your teeth for him to see what you're going to do? Sometimes we let our son hold the tooth brush and we guide it. We also usually let our son brush his teeth after we do it.

Jene - posted on 05/11/2010

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Don't fight!
Rather give him the toothbrush to play with to get used to it
The last thing you want is for it to become a chore!
I have started putting my son on the loo, not so much to potty train him, more for him to get used to it. Remember that they are still babies and they want to do what they want to do, and at the moment it is hard because they haven;t quiet mastered the adult language so can;t quiet tell us what they want.
I bought a tooth brush set that is from when they are 8 months old, maybe try go back to the first rubber toothbrush, so he can get used to it and also leave him to play and chew on it, but please watch him....my biggest fear with my son is that he falls with it in his mouth, i am sure that you are the same
Good luck xx

Melanii - posted on 05/10/2010

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We get Aidan's teeth done when he's in the bath - he too loves to copy us so I sit on my stool and brush my teeth then give him his when he's interested. He imitates brushing and sucks on it for a while, then I give them a quick brush.
He loves my electric toothbrush, too!

Emily - posted on 05/10/2010

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Battle every night here too!!! But he is teething right now, so that may have something to do with it. These are some great suggestions!!!

Monique - posted on 05/10/2010

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I've been singing to my son to encourage him to brush his teeth - just a simple made up, "brush, brush, brush" song. I also take it in turns brushing his teeth and then using my tootbrush to brush my teeth. He thinks it's a fun game and sings (babbles) along.

Aisha - posted on 05/10/2010

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My son loves brushing his teeth! But instead of using a toothbrush or the gum thing by Gerber, use a washcloth. Since there is really nothing important in their "toothpaste" ur lttle one will be ok. Right before u wash ur little one in the tub, wet the washcloth and rub it on the teeth. They will be soooo preoccupied with sucking the water from the washcloth, they won't even notice it.

Khadijah - posted on 05/10/2010

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The vibrating tooth brush is a great idea!! I'll have to pick two up for my girls! Here's hoping it works! :-) Also, they both have molars growing in so I'm sure that's a bit uncomfortable for them as well.

Jennifer - posted on 05/10/2010

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My daughter is 15 months and loves to brush her teeth. I use the giggles n grins. It doesnt have floride so it is safe for her..My 8 yr old so hates to brush his teeth, I let him pick his tooth brush and toothpaist. I set a kitchen timmer for 3 minutes so he knows when to stop brushing.

Kelly - posted on 05/08/2010

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I am one of the lucky Mom's when it comes to brushing teeth. My daughter only cries when I take the tooth brush away. I usually start out by brushing her teeth and gums and try to get her tounge, but that can be hard to do. Then I let her brush her teeth for a few, she moves the brush around and just loves the taste of her toothpaste (berry by Gerber). good luck, Mom's!

Sheena - posted on 05/08/2010

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my son is 15 months old.. we try to make a game out of it.. we use his tooth and gum cleanser then we sit there with him and let him do it on his own.. it makes them feel big.. and he loves it.. i buy him the real grippy toddler tooth brushes.. he loves brushing his teeth now

Margaret - posted on 05/06/2010

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Do they have vibrating tooth brushes for toddlers? I had no idea? my son HATES having his teeth brushed too, lately I have to hold him down to brush, and I use a wash cloth, he won't open his mouth for anything else, he takes his tooth brush but ends up playing with it and cleaning the floors with it. sigh.

Sarah - posted on 05/06/2010

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Hi Paula,
My son's 14 months old too, but only just started having his teeth brushed recently (he got his first tooth on Easter Sunday!). We found that letting him brush our teeth and making it fun helped him to be excited about it. Now when we go into the bathroom and sit him on my lap he opens his mouth before I've even got the tooth paste on the brush. I hope that helps. He might also be frustrated and already wanting to assert his independance, letting him do it himself - I know it's not as effective as you doing it - might take some of the frustration away for him?

Good luck,
Sarah

Jaz - posted on 05/06/2010

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My 15 month old doesnt like to brush his teeth much either but I try to brush his teeth at the same time I brush mine since he likes to copy what I do. Hopefully that'll help but I've also been thinking about getting him a vibrating tooth brush since he seems to like how the handle of mine feels.

Paula - posted on 05/06/2010

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Have you considered that your baby is just too tired to cope with it in the evening? Get Dad to entertain him while you brush, that way he's thinking about something else and it won't be so overwhelming.

Kate - posted on 05/05/2010

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We've had lots of luck with electric toothbrushes, too, but I am so glad to hear that there are others out there having the same problem. My son went from loving it to hating it, so maybe it's a passing phase. I also wonder if his gums are sensitive to some bristles (since he's teething). Brushes with extra-soft bristles for sensitive teeth seem to help a bit.

Sarah - posted on 05/05/2010

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My boy is the same!!! Oddly enough he let's his nanny brush them after breakfast and lunch, but when DH and I try before bed, it's a kicking screaming struggle. :-(

Tiffany - posted on 05/05/2010

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Rilie will be 15 months ont he 9th and loooves brushing her teeth! we sit in the bathroom and brush them together! she loves it

Danielle - posted on 05/05/2010

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My daughter used to hate it too, so My Husband started brushing his teeth at the same time, now she loves it.

Melanie - posted on 05/04/2010

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My 15 mth old loves to have his teeth brushed. We use a winnie the pooh bear tooth brush and thomas the tank engine tooth paste and sing the brusha, brusha, brusha song from PBS Sprouts Goodnight show. We don't have any trouble at all actually when he hears that song on TV he goes and points to his tooth brush.

Heather - posted on 05/04/2010

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I'm doing the same thing Tammy is. I used to brush my 14 mo old's teeth with the finger brush and we recently moved up to a real toothbrush, toddler size. I've always brushed my teeth holding him so he sees me do it all the time and now when I tell him "Let's go brush our teeth" he beats me to the bathroom and points to his toothbrush. I usually hold the toothbrush and say "Ahhh" and he opens his mouth for me. I brush quickly b/c he is always in a hurry to do it himself - I let him brush afterwards by himself and now when he is done he even tries to spit it in the toilet! (He is still too short to reach the sink) Good Luck to you! :)

Rizchelle - posted on 05/04/2010

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Thanks for the ideas.. now i already have an idea on how will i brush my 14th month old baby.. what i am doing now is to get a soft cloth to rub his tongue and his teeth but he ended up biting me.. ouch..

Zinnia - posted on 05/03/2010

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Thanks for all your ideas. My 15 months old daughter hate it as well ... i was thinking about going to a dentist to find a solution but now i´m going to try the vibrating toothbrush to see if it helps!

Bridjett - posted on 05/02/2010

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My 14 month old daughter loves to brush her teeth. She gets to brush them herself with water in the morning but at night I help her with just a tiny drop of floride free toothpaste.

Tammy - posted on 05/02/2010

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My daughter is 14 months old and loves to clean her teeth. She sits on my bed and points to the ensuite and I say "clean teeth" and she smiles. I let her hold the toothbrush so she can do it herself and I brush my teeth at the same time. She tries to clean her teeth but really just sucks on the toothbrush. After I have cleaned my teeth I then help her brush properly. I try and make it a fun experience.

Emily - posted on 05/02/2010

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i have the same problem with my son. its just a talking through it thing and kinda gotta hold him down. another thing that will help with the teeth situation, most dentist sell a thing call xylitots. it comes in either wipes or spray and if you do that after each meal it helps clean the teeth. give that a try

Tori - posted on 05/01/2010

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I do the same thing Erica does. I lay Eli down on the floor and tickle him and his dad brushes a couple teeth before he gets mad. We just repeat until all his teeth are clean.

Erica - posted on 04/30/2010

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i have the same problem. sometime i can make him laugh a brush a bit but i have to do that a few times

Paula - posted on 04/30/2010

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I started letting him try to do it first, I used to let him try it after so that I made sure I got them clean. But, this does seem to work better. He is still fighting it, but not as badly. I will have to give the vibrating toothbrush a try as well. Thanks!

Beth - posted on 04/30/2010

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Have you tried a vibrating tooth brush? My son likes brushing his teeth but he really likes the feel of the vibrating tooth brush

Corena - posted on 04/29/2010

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I'm having the same problem. I try to let him do some then I do some. That works sometimes, but not always.

In the end I often end up having to hold him down to do it.

I hate that!



If someone comes up with a better solution I would love to try it!

Robin - posted on 04/29/2010

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My son is also 14 months and hates when I brush his teeth. He didn't mind the rubber finger tooth brush like Khadijah mentioned. You just have to be careful when he tries to bite it/you. When I upgraded to the kids toothbrush that's when he started fighting me. If I let him check the toothbrush out before I start brushing his teeth he doesn't fight me as much. I just try to brush quickly. ;)

Khadijah - posted on 04/29/2010

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I am actually having the exact same problems with my twin girls. Sometimes they go easy on me but those days are few and far in between. I have tried using a soft cloth to wipe over the gums, tongue, and teeth. I have tried a soft infant tooth brush and I also have tried the rubber finger brush (which they don't seem to mind as much but at this stage I'm not sure if its getting the job done).



What helps sometimes is if I allow them to brush it themselves and then I'll hold the end of the brush and try to guide it. Its a start!! I would love to hear what other Moms are doing to get their little one's teeth clean.

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